A Galaxy to Take Your Breath Away

The galaxy NGC 6946 is nothing short of spectacular. In the last century alone, NGC 6946 has experienced 10 observed supernovae, earning its nickname as the Fireworks Galaxy. In comparison, our Milky Way averages just 1-2 supernova events per century. This NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image shows the stars, spiral arms, and various stellar environments of NGC 6946 in phenomenal detail. 

We are able to marvel at NGC 6946 as it is a face-on galaxy, which means that we see the galaxy “facing” us, rather than seeing it from the side (known as edge-on). The Fireworks Galaxy is further classified as an intermediate spiral galaxy and as a starburst galaxy. The former means the structure of NGC 6946 sits between a full spiral and a barred spiral galaxy, with only a slight bar in its centre, and the latter means it has an exceptionally high rate of star formation.

The galaxy resides 25.2 million light-years away, along the border of the northern constellations of Cepheus and Cygnus (The Swan).

Credit:

ESA/Hubble & NASA, A. Leroy, K. S. Long

About the Image

Id:potw2101a
Type:Observation
Release date:4 January 2021, 06:00
Size:3111 x 2780 px

About the Object

Name:NGC 6946
Type:Local Universe : Galaxy : Type : Spiral
Distance:25 million light years
Constellation:Cygnus
Category:Galaxies

Image Formats

Large JPEG
3.3 MB
Screensize JPEG
447.9 KB

Zoomable


Wallpapers

1024x768
355.0 KB
1280x1024
594.5 KB
1600x1200
885.3 KB
1920x1200
1.0 MB
2048x1536
1.4 MB

Coordinates

Position (RA):20 34 53.30
Position (Dec):60° 9' 15.38"
Field of view:6.63 x 5.93 arcminutes
Orientation:North is 301.9° right of vertical

Colours & filters

BandWavelengthTelescope
Infrared
YJ
1.1 μm Hubble Space Telescope
WFC3
Infrared
YJ
1.1 μm Hubble Space Telescope
WFC3
Infrared
H
1.6 μm Hubble Space Telescope
WFC3
Infrared
Paschen beta
1.28 μm Hubble Space Telescope
WFC3

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